STRESS. ANXIETY. HYPERTENSION.
These things take hold by grappling with our hearts and minds. They attack our thresholds and tear down our ability to let go. We build expectations in everything. Expectations lead to distress in body, mind, and soul. Expectations lead to “unforgivingness” with others, self, situations, and things. (note: unforgivingness is NOT just with humans) Unforgiveness (or unforgivingness) leads to stress and anxiety of all levels. Unforgiveness is poison. The way to release stress and anxiety is to get rid of the toxins creating it, one at at time, pulling them out like weeding a garden. Forgiveness, releasing, and serving heals the heart (quite literally) and gives your health back.
(Col. 3:13). As the old hymn says, “Nothing between my soul and the Savior, so that His blessed face may be seen. Nothing preventing the least of His favor; keep the way clear! Let nothing between.”
I am writing a book on this subject: Weeds. Commit to pulling one weed a day. I made a commitment to be in my physical garden every day. I see more fruit than weeds with this approach. When this is applied to the body, mind, and soul, stress and anxiety decrease greatly. When stress and anxiety decrease, the body heals from the inside out, heals the organs, heals the brain, heals the nerves, heals the bones..you see where I am going with this.
Joy is not happiness. Happiness is circumstantial. Joy is lasting, constant, settled, and not affected by the “outside” distractions. We have to roll up our sleeves, join the adventure, and take care of our garden.
We tend to avoid and resist all suffering at all costs. We demand to bring our expectations to reality through various means. However, there IS redemption and value in pain, illness, or any experience that isn’t what we have envisioned for ourselves. Escaping from discomfort, or helping others do so, will never be successful. All of us are frail, going about life’s journey, in breakable outfits. We are human. We are not fighting. We have to be honest, and present. When we are present, the world becomes clear, and our lives become clear, and we can be “with” instead of against the world, body, people, and things.
Irene Smith, pioneer in compassionate care, says, “This work is not about healing others. We can’t heal another human being. We can only heal ourselves until our presence is healing.” Just being. Be. Still. Breathe. Unvarnished. Agenda-free. Vulnerable. Non-striving. Broken. Beautiful. Wretched. (Hear the song: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,…).
Lauren Cates, founder of Healwell, has some of my favorite quotes, “This version of you is the best mirror any other human could wish to gaze into. The world needs the you who is more interested in what might be next than in what you can make happen next. When we think we know what happens next, when we’re expert, there’s nothing intimate or connected about that. There’s only anticipation, a serious limitation on the number or shape of satisfying outcomes, and the likelihood of disappointment. Work kinder, not harder. Be authentic and present. Humble and curious. Kindness is what’s left when you’ve plumbed so many of your own depths that you know them well and intimately. Kindness is what grows up in the place of the stories you used to tell about how “I’ll be better…If only I could…” when wisdom invites you to stop telling them. Kindness sees through appearances, and it lets you work and live from a place of truth that’s not up for grabs. Being human is a good gig if you can get it.”
Take care, Be well. Be you. Smile.